Hi friends! I am going to introduce myself and start a thread because my test kit arrives today and I know I'll have plenty of questions!
My husband and I bought this house last summer with a brand new pool, brilliant blue and completely balanced. It's a 27' round above ground with metal sides, up against a deck, with a sand filter. We didn't have to do much to maintain last year, just shocked once a week and added baking soda to adjust pH only once. We closed the pool for the winter following directions from the pool store and it was nice and clear (except for some debris on the bottom) when the snow/ice cleared away. When we were ready to reopen it this spring, we noticed the liner had detached on one section of the pool. We ignored it for awhile and then my husband decided we could try to fix it without calling the pool place. So we drained the pool. (mistake #1). We quickly realized we couldn't fix it on our own and the pool store was quick to scold us for draining it in the first place (We now know how dumb that was). Desperate to get the water back in the pool, we filled it with pond water from a pond out back of our house (our well would have taken weeks to fill it).
Needless to say, our pool looked like a swamp. (I reeeeeally wish I had taken a picture, but use your imagination...I'm not kidding when I say "swamp"). We spent almost a month trying to clear it with constant filtering/back washing, brushing, and vacuuming (not to mention the $100+ worth of algicide and clarifier we unknowingly wasted in there). We shocked infrequently and had a few chlorine tabs floating around. Over three weeks this went on, and we got the pond water to go from swamp to clearish green. And there it sat. Green. And never taking any more steps toward blue. We were lost.
Before calling the pool place for help (which would have been our next step), I started digging around online and discovered that we mostly just needed chlorine. So we went to Walmart and bought up a ton of liquid chlorine and blindly started dumping.....so much, in fact, that my little yellow chlorine OTO test was red when I finally decided to test it (over 24 hours later), indicating to me that the chlorine level was sky-high. Whoops. So there it sat for three days, filtering, and allowing the over-chlorinated pool naturally come down. But you know what?? We woke up a few days ago and the pool was BLUE! ITS FREAKING BLUE!! It's a small miracle I think, but I've never been so happy to see the color blue in my entire life! It just needed chlorine!
So this is where I am. I have educated myself since then on the importance of numbers (hence the test kit that is arriving today), I have followed a TON of threads (borderline stalker-ish), and have read up on the process of slamming (which I sort of half did unknowingly and without proper testing and numbers). I need to get some test numbers to see where I stand; my chlorine seemed to dissipate quickly considering how high it seemed to be, so I'm pretty sure my CYA is practically non existent. My pool is currently sitting at a chlorine level of dark yellow (greater than 5) and I just shocked it today with some granular shock (2 packets) to keep it there until the test kit comes (I'm currently out of liquid bleach....). I will post numbers as soon as I can! PLEASE PRAY IM NOT TOO LATE AND WE HAVENT SCREWED UP THE NUMBERS TOO BADLY WITH OUR IGNORANCE!!
I am loving the TFP way of life and I want to master this!! I understand what we've done since now was NOT ideal, and I am completely on board with switching to liquid bleach and following your advice. I love the idea and ease of this whole thing (once it's mastered). Hopefully you all can help me get to where we need to be so I can take CONTROL! Thanks in advance!! I'll post test results later so we have a starting place!